Want to hear the guys discuss epistemic inclusiveness and trust?

The irony here is too much.  But here goes. 

CFP:  Copenhagen Conference on Epistemic Inclusiveness and Trust

Their starting point:  “It is sometimes maintained that increased inclusiveness on part of epistemic practices generally leads to decreased accuracy of output. This idea, moreover, fuels the intuition that, were it not for important moral and political reservations, the proper approach to all matters epistemic would be that of a minority of entrenched experts….[But]  Surely, the relation between inclusiveness and accuracy cannot be a strictly inverse one; matters have to be more complicated than that.”

(2)  Two of my favorites among the questions they pose:

(a)  what is the relation between … the inclusion of traditionally marginalized groups in the sciences and scientific progress?

(b)  in contexts where there is something to the idea that increased inclusiveness leads to decreased accuracy, how are we to think about the role that trust plays for those excluded from epistemic practices upon which they may, nevertheless, have to depend upon epistemically?

Confirmed speakers include Alvin Goldman (Rutgers), Paul Faulkner (Sheffield), Ronald de Sousa (Toronto), Kirk Michaelian (Jean-Nicod), and Duncan Pritchard (Edinburgh).

One wonders if they know the extent to which excellent women philosophers have addressed  these questions?  There is a call for papers (see link), so one could go with the intention of taking them on.  NOT my idea of fun.

15 thoughts on “Want to hear the guys discuss epistemic inclusiveness and trust?

  1. It might seem like a feminist joke, but it isn’t.

    There is a call for papers. It might be fun to organize a panel discussion to discuss the conference.

  2. I think they are saying that you will feel a lot more sure of yourself if you only accept input from people who already agree with you, epistemically speaking.

  3. I don’t think this is so terrible. Well, maybe a little terrible… It seems like what this is about is that they’re taking seriously the feminist claim that epistemic injustice is a problem and trying to figure out what caveats apply to the question, but they’ve ignored the earlier work done on the problems.

    So, for example, how should we figure out if global warming is real? We might say, “Well, geez, no one cares what rednecks [I can use this word, I’m from South Carolina] think since they’re an economically and socially marginal group, so why not lets include them in the debate to improve the level of trust across their subculture?” But the result of this might be that the non-experts decrease the reliability of the findings since they don’t really know about climate science and are inclined to believe in creationism, etc. So, the relationship between social inclusion and reliability isn’t simply one-to-one, since merely including rednecks in the debate didn’t give us better knowledge.

    My example of a one-to-one trust/reliability metric is based on a caricature of feminist epistemology but it is worth maybe having a conference to say, “How do we fix this caricature to get a real portrait of how a fabric of trust improves our knowledge?” (I think, for example, Helen Longino’s work gives some good clues for how to include rednecks in the debate about climate science without thereby accepting creationism.)

    The terrible part of the conference is that they’re not inviting the people who have been debating these questions for thirty years. To be honest, I find it a bit mind boggling that there are no women on the panel. Way to shatter the fabric of trust conference planners! :-/

  4. This group organizes a lot of all male workshops and seems to hire only men and affiliate itself only with men: the director is male, three male research fellows, one male visiting researcher, ten male affiliated researchers, and two male PhD/MA students: http://epistemology.ku.dk/participants/ It’s truly amazing.

  5. Hmm. So I don’t work in this area but even I know some of the best people in it are women. The people who first sprung to mind were

    1. Karen Jones (Melbourne. Papers in Journal of Philosophy, Ethics, Philosopher’s Annual…)

    2. Miranda Fricker (London. Book with OUP)

    I wonder whether they were asked.

  6. OMFG, to be sure.

    I have reasons to believe that Philip Pettit would(/might well) be receptive to our concerns here. I would like to believe the same about Alvin Goldman, though I do not have the same reasons.

    We might be able to say something similar about at least some of the others, though I do not have enough info to speculate with much confidence.

  7. I do find the conference lacking females or minorities appaling.

    But for the defense of the organizers not all their workshops are all-male.
    In fact, the workshop on Epistemology of Inclusiveness that will be held a few months before the conference does include women, among them is Miranda Fricker.


    Workshop on the Epistemology of Inclusiveness
    On April 13-14, 2011, SERG will be organizing a workshop on the epistemology of inclusiveness. Participants will include Miranda Fricker (Birkbeck), Sanford Goldberg (Northwestern), Kristina Rolin (Aalto), and Jesper Kallestrup (Edinburgh). More information will be made available shortly.

  8. makes me want to scream – how long do we have to keep fighting being ignored, AND, now, arguments justifying the fact the we are being ignored?!

  9. “Surely, the relation between inclusiveness and accuracy cannot be a strictly inverse one; matters have to be more complicated than that.”

    “… as the lineup for this workshop appears strongly to suggest.”

  10. velov wrote: “But for the defense of the organizers not all their workshops are all-male.”

    That is a hilarious defense: Not all their workshops are all-male!

  11. As fp remarked, part of the problem of these all-male keynotes conferences is that the fact that there are still far too many all-male philosophy faculties! I’m part of a faculty that has only male tenured professors, even though there are 30 professors, and it is not an exception.

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